Month 3: (9-13 weeks) Things are getting easier

The end of the first trimester

This month marks the end of the first trimester. This is significant because for many women things get easier after the end of the third month. The placenta is now fully formed and so the exhaustion that you may have felt during the past 12 weeks should lift. If you have suffered from morning sickness up to this point then there is a good chance that it too will lift. Do remember that morning sickness is thought to be caused by high levels of pregnancy hormones and so can be seen as a good omen. Luckily the opposite is not true and the lack of morning sickness does not represent any indication of problems.

Audible Heartbeat!

Your monthly doctor’s visit will include the same routine tests from last month, with one exciting exception. By the 12th week your doctor should be able to hear the baby’s heart beat, which will be a memorable moment for you. The stethoscope can only pick up the baby’s heartbeat around 17 weeks but modern technology has equipped us with the Doppler, which amplifies the sound of the baby’s heartbeat. If the doctor cannot hear the heartbeat it is not cause for concern but usually an indication of incorrect estimation of the due date. By this stage the doctor should also be able to make a correlation between your due date and the size of your uterus.

A real tiny person…

The baby will double in size during these four weeks to about 6cm. During this time the ears and mouth will form and the baby will begin to suck. The baby’s head is more in proportion with its body and there is even a little neck now! The sex organs are formed and can be detected.

The strain on your back…

As your weight starts to increase it is important to take care of your spine. Strengthening your pelvic floor by interrupting the stream of urine when you go to the toilet. Also practice 10 times a day contract your pelvic floor muscles in a movement similar to a lift rising from floor to floor. Having strong pelvic floor has several advantages for you: your back will be protected by these muscles, these muscles will assist you during labour and also speed up your recovery after the birth. Take care to use the correct positions when standing (do not let pelvis drop forward), sitting (push yourself to the back of the chair and support the small of your back with a cushion) and lifting (keep back upright and bend from the knees).

And once again remember to take care of yourself – your body is working very hard to make this baby , so don’t be too stoic, rest when you feel tired and make healthy choices with your diet.

See also: When to call the doctor? +27 (0)81 885 4683

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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